Main Characters: # We must remember that character creation is a construct; an artefact and central ones do not necessarily represent the author. Characters are either portrayed sympathetically or unsympathetically. The former are called protagonists, heroes or good guys while the latter are antagonists, villains or bad guys. Sometimes main characters are picaresque – likeable but harmless rogues, larrikins or scoundrels –“loveable rogues”. Martin Amis points out that over two millennia humans first told stories of Gods, then Kings, then Epic Heroes, then ordinary people , then anti-heroes, then villains, then demons and finally themselves.
Emma by Jane Austen # Jane Austen is an accomplished writer who polarises her audience; they either passionately adore or absolutely abhor her. Regardless of your tastes, she is a writer of merit and maintains a tremendous influence on the development of the English Novel. Her Novels deal with the lower nobility, a leisured class but without the ostentatious wealth and position of the landed Dukes and Earls of the higher nobility.
Context and background: # Regency England 1815 Her novels written between 1797 – 1817, with Emma one of the last. Her novels depict the commonplace, the mundane detailed and ordinary lives of a narrow band of genteel classes; privileged but not too extravagantly rich and powerful. They knew their place and accepted it with dignity and grace. Perhaps most intriguing is that, though her novels are set in the turbulent times of the Napoleonic wars and a period of great social unrest in rural England, her characters appear entirely concerned only with their parochial affairs and to be totally oblivious of anything happening in the national or international fields.
Evaluation: # This is your personal response and opinion on the effectiveness of the novel. You may judge it for yourself, for the intended audience or as a general appraisal of the worth of the writing. Be specific and provide evidence for any assertions you make. Jane Austen is an accomplished writer who polarises her audience; they either passionately adore or absolutely abhor her. Regardless of your tastes, she is a writer of merit and maintains a tremendous influence on the development of the English Novel.
Themes, issues, concerns and values in Emma # National: The landed gentry under threat from Fr. Rev. and peasant’s revolts. To preserve the status of landed gentry, George Knightley exhorts Emma to act responsibly and exemplarily. Manners and Geniality are important. Laws favouring the privileged, especially in regards to inheritance. Primogeniture - estates passed on to the closest male heir was being questions as it left the rest of the descendants destitute, especially women.
TECHNIQUE: # Jane Austen deliberately and intentionally kept her novels limited to the ordinary day to day lives of rural lower gentry: “3 or 4 families in a Country Village is the very thing to work on” She wrote to her niece, Anna Austen and later to her brother she describes it as“the little bit (two inches wide) of ivory” as the boundaries of her work. Her fans applaud her for the miniature delicate and exquisite ‘Chinese fidelity’ or bonsai effect produced.